Reiterates request that Chief Patrol Officers testify at a hearing before the committee on February 7, 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) sharply criticized Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for Refuse to allow senior Border Patrol agents from four US Border Patrol sectors to testify at an upcoming hearing. about the border crisis.
“On January 19, 2023, I invited senior Border Patrol agents from four US Border Patrol sectors to testify at a hearing before the Committee on Oversight and Accountability the week of February 6, 2023. As I wrote on those invitations, ‘[t]This hearing will examine the crisis on the southwest border and will allow Committee members to obtain essential information based on [those Chief Patrol Agents’] experience leading Border Patrol operations in those four sectors. However, rather than work to facilitate the testimony of these law enforcement professionals, the Department of Homeland Security refuses to allow the four invited patrol chief officers to appear and provide live testimony at a Committee hearing. DHS is obstructing congressional oversight.” President Comer wrote.
President Comer announced a hearing for February 7, 2023 to investigate the Biden Administration’s policies that have sparked the worst border crisis in American history. He invited Chief Patrol Agents Jason Owens, Gregory Bovino, Gloria Chavez and Patricia McGurk-Daniel to testify at the hearing on how US Border Patrol agents are handling the crisis and the impact of the crisis. in his mission to secure the border. In addition, President Comer sought documents, communications, and information from Secretary Mayorkas about DHS’s role in undermining efforts to secure the southern border.
“DHS speaks to its own internal protocols in making this determination, even arguing that it is the prerogative of DHS, not Congress, to determine for congressional committees who would be an appropriate witness. DHS internal protocols are not binding on Congress and it is irrelevant whether DHS disagrees with the Committee’s determination that these four law enforcement professionals should testify at a Committee hearing. Taken to their logical conclusion, the arguments advanced by DHS would render most federal officials in the Executive Branch completely immune from providing essential information to Congress. It is unfortunate that you are trying to prevent the American people from hearing the candid and truthful testimony of the chief agents of the US Border Patrol. This is necessary oversight, which you and your Department are trying to block,” continued the President Eat. “Therefore, I reiterate my request that the four Chief Patrol Agents of the US Border Patrol testify at a hearing before the Full Committee to be held on February 7, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. am EST, and I request your confirmation of your appearance before Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 5:00 pm EST. If you continue to direct DHS to obstruct congressional oversight on this matter, I will be forced to consider using due process.”
Read the letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas here.